Now, whenever I drink cold water, I have a sore throat. However, my friends never have that condition. They can drink very cold water and they are fine without any problem.

Another example, when my wife has flu, she has severe pain in her muscle but she doesn't cough at all. When I have flu, I don't have much pain in my muscle, but I cough like crazy.

Some people have loose stool when eating watermelon, while others do not. I can list so many examples here.

What is the word used to express how strong a part of the body of a person resisting to illness or germs or viruses is?

For example, her throat .... is stronger than mine? What is the word that I can fill in the doted line here?

I am not sure if we can say "constitution" as a chatbot suggested.

  • 1
    We talk about what symptoms you are prone to rather than a part of the body being 'strong'. (Having a 'strong constitution' means that your entire body is resistant to disease.) Commented Jan 3 at 13:29
  • 1
    I'm sorry but no one has loose stool when eating something. Loose stool is an after-effect. In English, we don't normally talk about parts of the body being more virus- or germ-immune. [Correction: Severe pain in her muscles, plural]. The entire body or person is said to be immune to some disease. Not body parts.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 3 at 17:40

3 Answers 3


I don't think you're going to find one word that works for all these situations. "Resistant to" works for many, where you follow it with some challenge or problem: "My friends are more resistant to getting a sore throat when drinking cold water" or "I'm more resistant to the loose stools that watermelon gives some people." You can use it for diseases too: "I'm more resistant to the common cold than my mom."

Some other specialized words could work in some contexts. "Immunity" works expecially for disease ("I have better immunity to the flu"), or can sometimes be used in a metaphorical sense for other bad consequences—but this usage usually names the consequence: "I'm immune to criticism" or "I'm immune to the headaches that can come from ice cream" BUT NOT "my head is immune." Also, it usually means "I am completely untouched by these negative things," not "I'm less affected by them."

You could certainly use "stronger" for some things, but not so well for others. You don't get nausea as easily: "You have a stronger stomach." You can have a "strong immune system." But used with other body parts, it can be confused for other kinds of strength. If you rarely get foot infections, saying "I have strong feet" sounds more like you're talking about muscles, and "I have a strong head" suggests other idiomatic meanings like being smart or "headstrong" (stubborn).

  • Body parts in English are not identified as being immune or resistant. It's the whole body that is or isn't immune or resistant to germs or viruses.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 3 at 17:42

As others have already noted, resistance to illness or infection isn't something which is localized to specific body parts. But, going by the examples you gave in your question instead of by the title, I would suggest that, in general, the idea of a particular part being especially "tough" or resistant to some specific affliction tends to be expressed metaphorically.

Some examples:

A cast-iron stomach

is used for someone that can eat just about anything without getting indigestion (reference: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cast-iron_stomach),


Nerves of steel

describes someone who is not easily flustered (reference: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nerves%20of%20steel)

and there are probably many others which I'm not aware of!

One thing these idioms have in common is that they are highly specific: different comparisons are made for different organs/systems. So, it wouldn't sound natural to switch them and refer to "cast-iron nerves" or "a steel stomach."


I think "immunity" and "resilience" could both work.

You could simply say:

Her throat is more immune than mine.


Her throat is more resilient than mine.

  • I think immune means specifically germs/viruses/infections, while resilience is more general, but either could work.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jan 3 at 15:31
  • Yes - you are immune to a specific disease, not to a symptom. Commented Jan 3 at 15:59
  • 2
    Sorry, I think you can not idiomatically say "her throat is more immune than mine." "Immune" is usually used when naming a specific object: "I'm immune to iocaine powder." "Immunity" can be used without this, in a general way: "I have better immunity" meaning I'm more resistance to disease overall. Commented Jan 3 at 16:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .